Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#TheLostRoadtoHope #DontSurviveLive #Dreamcast

Stephen Amell as #AlexTrevor

#wearebeggingyouamell #whynotamell #roadtoamell  #doitfortheartamell

From The Lost Road to Hope
Chapter 1: The Long Road

This had to be the longest drive and yet the distance was the same. The hum of traffic seemed so lonely today and the overcast sky only added to that. It was one of those days that no matter what song played on my satellite radio it irritated me.

How did it come to this?

The thought bolted through my mind before I could catch it.

I was going to be strong, just like I always was.

This was not going to drown me!

I had survived Afghanistan; there was no way that this was going to destroy my resolve. I glance over to my right at the letter sitting in the passenger’s seat lying face down but knowing its contents all too well. I had just received it from the clinic, dates, times, procedures, what to eat before, what to expect after. It was all so mechanical, like reading the instructions to installing a Blu-Ray player. There was no humanity to it, so cold and inorganic, summing up my existence into simple bullet points and prescriptions. It was nobody’s fault, it’s just the way things were, the simple reality of the matter. Everything I had worked for and achieved was suddenly void and my future reduced to one sheet of paper.

I have to stop myself, pull it together, I am stronger than this.

On top of the now ominous letter is a picture of my wife and daughter.  Gracie had just turned six this year. They still don’t know.  My wife has been through so much already, my tour of duty, the academy, all the long nights worrying whether or not I would come home. She has been the real hero in all of this. I often asked myself why she stayed; a question I could never bring myself to ask her.

I had the courage to face every enemy, knowing in a second it could be lights out.  Bullets had flown by me like mad hornets on a tear. Blood, flame, the horrors of combat, had surrounded me before, sometimes on a daily basis, but with all that, I never winced, hesitated, not for a second. But to lose her, that’s the only thing I truly ever feared.

And then when Gracie was born, it felt like every broken piece of my life suddenly fit together. She became the end all, be all, of school, her graduation, prom, of my existence with everything else dropping down to the bottom of the list of my life. She was the very breath in my lungs. Everything in life that didn’t make sense before made sense now in the beauty of her delicate smile. I had been blessed far more than I ever deserved and I got that.

I promised Sara, this would be it. A couple more years on the force and then I find some senseless desk job, work security at the mall, sell cars, whatever, just to give her some peace, a night where she could finally sleep not fearing what news the next day would bring. It was all about her and Gracie now, and they had earned that level of importance, a thousand times over. With all that said, now this happens. As if it was some tragic cosmic punch line to a universally bad joke.

The pain started just a few short months ago. I figured I just pulled something, a symptom of getting older and forgetting my limits, stress maybe, an old sports injury rearing its ugly head before the dawn of a mid life crisis. Through two tours and constant fire fights, I never saw a scratch, not even a hangnail.

They called me the Ghost!

Bullets never could seem to find me, the enemy never saw me coming. I could navigate through kill houses so quickly it was if I moved through the walls not around them. I saw friends of mine lose limbs, eyes, worse, and yet I was the one who was always made it out alive, always able to escape the physical price of combat. But never the scars of seeing others you would die for fall.

With all that said, here I am.

It figures, one stone took Goliath down and he never saw that
coming either.

The pain got worse, so I finally went to the VA and got checked out. That prompted more tests and more visits. I never told Sara, I always used excuses, some new training detail, an advanced class in forensics, anything that I could sell her that she might believe. I just couldn’t bring myself to put her through something else. I’m supposed to be her strength, her provider, not a constant source of bad news.

When the final barrage of tests did finally come back it was definitive, prostate cancer. You know what the funniest part of it was, it wasn’t because of chemicals or agents from my time in the service, or what independently self prescribed pharmaceuticals I introduced to my body during my infamous college years, the wrong diet, or even hereditary. I just was lucky enough to pull the “one in whatever many chances card.”

There was no rhyme or reason, it was just there. And now we get to this final letter. Here’s how my treatment begins. At least a year of chemo and radiation, special diet, possible surgery, loss of my ability to be intimate with my wife, no more kids, and with all of that I might live long enough to be in enough pain and depression that I would I wish I never started it all to begin with.

I mean what the hell!

Now my wife has to take care of me. Now she loses all the time and attention she has been so patiently waiting for to care for a husband who probably won’t see his daughter turn eight, maybe even seven.

Who makes the rules here?

I did my time, served my country, truly love my wife. While the other guys were out dicking around, fucking anything that had a pulse, I stayed back at the barracks trying to keep up with the life I left a thousand or more miles away. Now as a detective, an honest cop, a dying breed, naively trying to uphold the law, serve the idea of justice. I’ve tried to be a good man, not the best, but nowhere near the worst.

I’ve buried so many friends, lost so much time, and now you tell me it’s up. No break, no honeymoon, just thanks for your service and sacrifice son, now we have to punch your ticket. To be robbed of even the chance to go out like a hero, with a bang, a selflessly brave act, or triumphant charge to victory.

No, instead I leave this world with a whimper decaying in front of everyone I love. Become a shell of a man while my wife and daughter are left to helplessly watch and pick up the pieces. Forced to miss out on all the good stuff, Gracie’s first years of school, her graduation, prom, and dance with her father at her wedding.  To have my wife struggle to survive, having missed out the life she could have had, had she not hitched her wagon to my sorry cart.

What have I done?

I have ruined their futures, tainted their happiness, and will forever darken their memories.


Breathe Alex, just breathe!

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